BNL Demonstrates First Successful Operation of a Test Camera

BNL Demonstrates First Successful Operation of a Test Camera

In early February, a team working on the LSST Camera project at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) demonstrated the first successful operation of a test camera using a "vertical slice" of the final camera sensors and electronics. The test assembly contained prototype CCDs and one 48-channel raft electronic board, all housed in a developmental model of the Commissioning Camera cryostat. The raft sensor assembly was set at -100C, and the electronics sink was set at -10C. Using a variety of optical and electronic stimuli, the team found all 48 channels reading out and meeting critical performance specifications for noise, crosstalk and linearity.

Unlike most astronomical imagers, LSST’s mosaic camera will be constructed from 21 identical modules, known as “rafts.” A raft module can be operated as an autonomous, fully functional, and testable camera. The science raft tower (SRT) is the modular building block of the camera focal plane. Each science raft contains a 3 x 3 array of science sensors (CCDs) and the necessary front end and back end electronics. All components of the SRT are contained within the camera cryostat vacuum space.

The vertical slice test involves contributions from many collaborating institutions, notably LPNHE (Paris), University of Pennsylvania, and SLAC.


Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Support Agreement No. 1202910, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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